Health: Diet and Exercise Wellness Center
  • Search Wellness Centers
  • Find a Pharmacy
    Enter your Zip code or city to find your Local Pharmacy
  • Diet & Exercise Wellness Center
  • How to Keep It Going

    For many older adults, motivation to keep exercising and doing physical activities isn't a problem. Learn their secret and how to get yourself off the couch.

  • "Definitely NOT!" That's what 75-year-old Emma King told us when we asked her if she ever intended to stop exercising. Ms. King lives in Durham, North Carolina, and has taken long walks at least 4 or 5 days a week for years. Last year, she took part in a study of exercise for older adults and added stretching to her weekly routine. "I can really tell the difference if I miss 2 or 3 days. I don't know what it would be like not to exercise," she said.

    For many older adults, motivation to keep exercising and doing physical activities isn't a problem. They say that regular physical activity makes them feel so much better that it would be hard to stop.

    Others say that, while physical activity makes them feel better, a little extra motivation helps them get going. For example, Georgia Burnette, 68, of Amherst, New York, told us that she used to put on headphones and listen to recorded books borrowed from the library to make her 40-minute walks more interesting. Now, she mall-walks for an hour, 5 days a week, with a friend. Having that companionship is a good motivator, Ms. Burnette said.

    Physical activity needs to be a regular, permanent habit to produce benefits. So does staying motivated!

    Recording your scores and watching them improve can be an excellent motivator to exercise. On the other hand, if you see that your scores have improved by only a few seconds or just one or two lifts of a weight, you might get discouraged.

    Putting it in perspective might help. While your test scores might rise by what looks like only a tiny amount, in terms of real-life benefits, those slight improvements are multiplied many times over as you include them in your everyday activities, probably without even realizing it. You incorporate that extra little bit of endurance and extra little bit of strength into everything you do, and it adds up to a lot.

    But no matter how enthusiastic you are about exercise, there may be times when you need extra motivation. It's common for beginning exercisers, especially those who are frail, to make fast progress at first. You might get discouraged when the improvements you were making taper off at times.

    These leveling-off periods are normal. You are probably doing your activities correctly, and you are probably still benefiting from them. Often, these leveling-off periods mean that it's time to gradually make your activities more challenging.

    For times that you need extra motivation, try the following:

    • Ask someone to be your exercise buddy. Many of the older adults we talked to agreed that having someone to exercise with helps keep them going.
    • Follow Georgia Burnette's advice: Listen to recorded books or music while you do endurance activities.
    • Set a goal, and decide on a reward you will get when you reach it.
    • Give yourself physical activity homework assignments for the next day or the next week.
    • Think of your exercise sessions as appointments, and mark them on your calendar.
    • Keep a record of what you do and of your progress. Understand that there will be times that you don't show rapid progress and that you are still benefiting from your activities during those times.
    • Plan ahead for vacations, bad weather and house guests. For example, you might want to have an exercise video so you can exercise indoors when the weather is bad.

    Sticking With It: What Works

    According to the U.S. Surgeon General's report, you are more likely to keep doing physical activities if you:

    • Think that, overall, you will benefit from them
    • Include activities you enjoy
    • Feel you can do the activities correctly and safely
    • Have access to the activities on a regular basis
    • Can fit the activities into your daily schedule
    • Feel that the activities don't impose financial or social costs you aren't willing to take on
    • Have few negative consequences from doing your activities (such consequences might include injury, lost time and negative peer pressure)
    In other words, you are more likely to stick with your exercises if you set yourself up to succeed from the start. You can help do that by choosing realistic goals, learning to do the exercises correctly and safely and charting your progress to see your improvement. Take a minute to think carefully about the points in the list above before you start planning your exercises and activities.

    Acknowledge Your Efforts

    When it comes to motivation, the first month is crucial. If you can increase your physical activity for a month and still keep going after that, you will have passed a critical landmark. It's a good sign that you are on your way to making exercise and physical activity regular, life-long habits.

    Most people like to do for themselves. For many older adults, just the idea of improving or maintaining their health and independence is enough motivation to exercise.


  • Used with permission. ©2014 Walmart. All Rights Reserved. 

     
    Important Walmart Disclaimer: All content provided is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, or advice of a medical professional. Consult your medical professional for guidance before changing or undertaking any diet, exercise or health program, or before using any prescription or over-the-counter drug. Neither the author nor Walmart.com assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter. Walmart does not sponsor, recommend or endorse any third party, product, service or information provided on this site. If you have dietary restrictions and/or allergies, always read the ingredient list carefully for all products prior to consumption. If the ingredient list is not available on the product, check with the product manufacturer, or do not consume the product.

  • You may like...

    • Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity Sleep Band, Black

      $9988

    • Fitbit Zip Wireless Act Tracker, Magenta

      $5988

    • SYNC Active Tracker, Black

      $2477

    • SYNC Walk Activity Tracker, Black

      $1877

    • Fitbit One Wireless Act Tracker, Black

      $8672

    • Fitbit Zip Wireless Act Tracker, Charcoal

      $4869

    • Fitbit Zip Wireless Act Tracker, Green

      $5546

    • Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker

      $5988

    • Fitbit One Wireless Act Tracker, Burgundy

      $9645

    • SYNC Run Activity Tracker, Gray

      $1977

    • Fitbit One Wireless Act Tracker

      $9988

    • Perfect Fitness LED Arm Band

      $1497

    • Perfect Fitness Calorie Monitor Pro Activity Tracker

      $3963

    • SYNC Burn Fitness Band, Black

      $8997

    • Omron HJ-321 Tri-Axis Pedometer

      $1658

    • Omron Pocket Pedometer

      $3597

    • Omron HJ-323U USB Pedometer with Web-based Solution

      $2897

    • Sportline Triple Function Calorie Counting Pedometer, Black

      $947

    • Sportline 2-Function Step and Distance Pedometer, Black

      $497

      Out of stock online

    • Sportline 340 Step and Distance Pedometer

      $1070

    • Sportline Max Calorie Burn Pedometer with ColorTrac and Calorie-Burn Assist

      $1187

    • Gold's Gym 40-Pound Vinyl Dumbbell Set

      $1997

    • CAP Barbell Neoprene Dumbbell, Single

      $200

    • Gold's Gym 40lb Adjustable Dumbbell, Set of 2

      $3497

    • Tone Fitness 20lb Hourglass Neoprene Dumbbell Set with "A" Frame Rack

      $2962

    • CAP Barbell 1" Hole Weight Lifting Plate, Single

      $221

    • Gold's Gym Dumbbell Power Set

      $3477

    • CAP Barbell Cast Iron Hex Dumbbell, Single

      $436

    • CAP Barbell Polyurethane Infused Dumbbell

      $638

    • Gold's Gym Weight Lifting Gloves

      $877

    • Gold's Gym 3 lb Weighted Gloves, Pair

      $987

    • Gold's Gym 10-lb. Pair Adjustable Ankle Weights

      $676

      Out of stock online

    • Champion Barbell Hex Dumbbell

      $401

    • CAP Barbell Hex Dumbbells Pair

      $3999

    • CAP Barbell Coated Hex Dumbbell, Single

      $630

    • KetoneRX Advanced Weight Loss Formula Dietary Supplement Capsules, 84 count

      $988

    • Relacore Extra Maximum Strength Tablets Dietary Supplement, 72 count

      $2075

    • Green Tea Fat Burner Dietary Supplement , 90ct

      $898

    • Metabolife Extreme Energy Dietary Supplement, 50ct

      $1262

      Out of stock online

    • Mommy's Bliss Apple Gripe Water Dietary Supplement, 4 fl oz

      $898

    • eAC 1234 Energy Appetite Control Capsules, 60ct

      $1500

    • Valeo Chin Up Bar

      $1883

    • Ab Roller Evolution

      $2927

    • Gold's Gym Circuit Trainer 36" Mini Trampoline

      $2700

    • Tone Fitness 65cm Anti-burst Stability Ball

      $1119

    • CAP Barbell Doorway Sit Up Bar

      $1084

    • CAP Barbell Rubber Medicine Ball

      $1071

    • Sunny Health and Fitness Door Way Chin Up Bar

      $1461

    • Weider Total Body Works 5000 with Bonus 6-Piece Puzzle Mat Bundle

      $12900

    • Gold's Gym XR45 Home Gym

      $26173

    • Total Gym 1100

      $19900

    • Weider 2980 214 lb Stack Home Gym

      $22552

    • Stamina Power Tower Home Gym

      $9824

    • Bowflex BodyTower

      $28226

    • Weider MMA VKR Power Tower

      $19250

      Out of stock online

    • ProGear 275 Extended Capacity Power Tower Fitness Station

      $17099

    • Kinect Game Party: In Motion (Xbox 360)

      $1496

    • Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) Video Game Starter Pack (Xbox 360)

      $7496

    • The LEGO Movie Videogame (Xbox 360)

      $1999

    • Tony Hawk Ride: Shred - game only (Wii)

      $1189

    • Heroes on the Move - Motion Control (PS3 / Move)

      $739

    • Ghostbusters (Xbox 360) - Pre-Owned

      $1033

    • NBA Baller Beats for Kinect (Xbox 360)

      $1303

      Out of stock online

    • The LEGO Movie Videogame (PS3)

      $2996

    • Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) Video Game Starter Pack (PS3)

      $7496

    • Game Party:In Motion Kinect (Xbox 360) - Pre-Owned

      $635

    • Tony Hawk: Shred (Wii) - Pre-Owned

      $500

    • Just Dance 2014 (Wii)

      $2499

    • Beastly (Wii)

      $484

    • Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension (PS3)

      $1590

    • Motion Sports Kinect (Xbox 360) - Pre-Owned

      $1193

    • Madden NFL 15 (Xbox 360)

      $5996

    • How to Train Your Dragon 2: The Video Game (PS3)

      $2999

    • New Super Mario Bros. (Wii)

      $2514

    • Minecraft (PS3)

      $1858

    • Madden NFL 15 (PS3)

      $5996

    • Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox 360)

      $3821

    • Call of Duty: Ghosts (Xbox 360)

      $2228

    • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition (PS3)

      $5996

    • 2 For $28 Family Favorites Value Game Bundle (Xbox 360)

      $2800

    • Dark Souls II (Xbox 360 / PS3)

      $3296

    • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - Game of the Year (Xbox 360)

      $3320

    • Nintendo DS 3 For $35 Value Game Bundle with Bonus Ear Buds

      $3500

    • LEGO Lord of the Rings (Wii)

      $1694

    • Destiny (Xbox 360)

      $5996

    • Disney Infinity Starter Kit (Wii)

      $6499

      Out of stock online

    • Sonic Free Riders (Xbox 360/Kinect)

      $1299

    • Skylanders Trap Team Starter Kit (Xbox 360)

      $7496

    • Shock Athletic 6mm Yoga Mats. Teal Bloom, 24"x68", 6mm thick, Protected with Microban, YM614

      $783

    • PurAthletics Beginner Yoga Mat Kit

      $2999

    • PurAthletics Intro Yoga Kit

      $2990

    • Sivan Health and Fitness Essentials Yoga Kit

      $3498

    • Gold's Gym Long Series Resistance Tube Kit

      $916

    • Gold's Gym Long Resistance Tube

      $777

    • Gold's Gym Stretch Band Loops

      $897

    • Black Mountain Products Resistance Band Set

      $3325

    • Gold's Gym Power Resistance Tube, Extra Heavy

      $981

    • Gold's Gym 6' Stretch Band, Light

      $777

    • Gold's Gym Power Training Band, Extra Heavy

      $1777

    • Gold's Gym Power Training Band, Medium

      $1377

    • Gold's Gym 6' Stretch Band, Heavy

      $777

    • Maximum Fitness Gear 3 Piece Resistance Band

      $2908

    • SPRI ES503R Xertube Resistance Band with Door Attachment and Exercise Charts (Purple, Very Heavy)

      $788

  • Dieting & Exercise Are Easier at Walmart
    Whether you want to lose weight or start working out, our Diet & Exercise Wellness Shop can help. Find great prices on the best in diet and weight management, nutritional bars and sports nutrition. Get expert information and tips, or check out the Diet & Exercise Buying Guide to find the best products for your needs. You can even make an investment in your health by shopping for bikes, exercise equipment or bathroom scales.